Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Weird Science Best of 2016 Awards: Best Issue / Best Story Arc / Biggest Moment



It's day two of the Weirdies and this one is all about issues and moments.  This is the first bunch of awards that really point out the split year that DC Comics had with the New 52/DC You turning into Rebirth in June.  This is the 2016 awards so that means we had to take the entire year into account...even if Eric didn't want to!




Best Issue:

Jim's Pick: 

SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN #5 (Max Landis and Francis Manapul) 




I loved Max Landis' American Alien series and this was the top issue for me.  We got to see Clark take to the air (with Batman's cape!), fight Parasite and then confront Lex Luthor.  That last part was so good because Clark learns a lesson that being right isn't always the bottom line when being a hero.  Seriously, you have to read this issue to experience the Clark/Lex interaction for yourself.  To top it all off, Lex even gives Clark the idea for the name "Superman" and for all of this and even more, this is my pick for best issue of 2016.



Reggie's Pick:

DOOM PATROL #3 (Gerard Way and Nick Derington)




When the Young Animal imprint was first announced in the Spring of 2016, I immediately told Jim that I wanted to review Doom Patrol...which turned out to be unnecessary, since no one else clamored for the job. The intellectual property is important to me, so while I embraced the new series I also held some reservations due to potential lameness. Issue #3 erased those reservations, as the story revealed itself more fully in a very creative way. And those parodies! The take on the cover to Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 will never be forgotten. I loved this issue and I'm gutted that the next one has been re-solicited twice. 




Eric's Pick: 

DC Rebirth Special #1   (Written By: Geoff Johns

Art By: Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Brad Anderson, Jason Wright, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Hi-Fi, Phil Jimenez, Matt Santorelli, Gabe Eltaeb, Brad Anderson, Nick J. Napolitano)




If there was any clear cut winner to anything this year it would be the beginning of Rebirth that got all of us fans back on the DC bandwagon and got us excited for what our favorite comic company was up to and what they had in store for us.  








Best Story Arc:

Jim's Pick: 

Universe's Finest - Batman/Superman #28-30 (Tom Taylor and Robson Rocha)





If this didn't happen smack dab in the middle of the Superman Truth story, I still would have been impressed with Tom Taylor's space mystery.  However, it did happen then and was a shining light in the middle of a huge black hole of darkness.  A "Tale from the past", this story was a reminder of what made Superman and Batman great and would fit right into the Rebirth stuff going on right now.  Their are so many badass moments and the art by Robson Rocha was incredible.  If you haven't already read it, check it out now!




Reggie's Pick:

New Super-Man, "Made in China" (Gene Yang and Viktor Bogdanovic)




I don't think I've been as delighted by a new character and series in many years as I am with Kong Kenan and New Super-Man. The opening arc was masterful in its pacing and how the characters developed, subtly but steadily, so that the Kenan from issue #6 is not the same Kenan from issue #1, but a wiser, more judicious and heroic take. And the same goes for many of the supporting characters in the series, which, strictly speaking, Gene Luen Yang could have written as changeless ciphers. Great work and a pleasure to read every month.




Eric's Pick: 

Universe's Finest Batman/Superman #28-30 (Tom Taylor and Robson Rocha)





During the DC You there wasn't a lot of great books being put out and it's one of the reasons that Rebirth in my mind is so well received because really....... it didn't feel like the DCU that I knew and loved.  Thankfully, we had a shining star during that year and that was Tom Taylor's Universe's Finest arc that popped in out of nowhere to save the Batman/Superman series from The Truth staleness that it had been dealing with.  This is a great arc that everyone should read.


Biggest Moment:

Jim's Pick:

The Return of Wally West





I really couldn't think of anything as big as opening up the Rebirth Special #1 and seeing the return of Wally West to the DCU.  Mind you, this is coming from a guy with little to no past with Wally, but that didn't matter at all.  Just seeing him gave me the chills and knowing what he meant to so many readers (especially those who've been reading comics most of their lives) put a big smile on my face.  Wally is the face of DC's Rebirth and he wears it well!



Reggie's Pick:

The Return of Wally West




How could it be anything else? Even if you had no idea who Wally West was, those that read Rebirth #1 realized that something important had happened. And it worked on both a literal story level and on a contextual level: DC Comics was bringing back the "fun." The quips. The japes. The joshing. I'd say they delivered on that feeling initially, and things are much lighter in the DCU now than at the end of the New 52. Special mention to the Superman from Superman: Lois & Clark becoming this universe's Superman, which was a damn good idea and worked in relatively subtly without making a big splash. But long-time Superman adherents welcomed the change with open eyes!

Eric's Pick: 

The Return of Wally West





While I like Barry Allen fine enough, he was never "My" Flash.  By the time I was old enough to read comics Barry had already made his sacrifice in Crisis On Infinite Earths so the Flash I grew up with and ended up loving was Wally West.  So yeah, he was gone during the New 52 and while I originally thought that it sucked and eventually got over it, but when he returned during the Rebirth Special I realized how much I missed him and promised the comic book gods that I would never forget Wally West and with that, always be his lightning rod....... corny huh?
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